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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Eight die, 62 injured in stampede at
Malawi independence celebrations

LILONGWE Malawi (Xinhua) -- Eight people, including five children, have been confirmed dead on Thursday in a stampede at Malawi’s Independence celebrations in the capital, police said.

Spokesperson for Central Region Police, Superintendent Nolliettie Chihana, explained that among the dead is one woman and two men.

“Sixty-two have so far sustained injuries but the number is not yet conclusive as more casualties could still come in,” said Chihana.

Eyewitnesses at the scene explained that the stampede happened as a multitude struggled to squeeze through the gate into the 40,000 persons capacity Stadium, where the main event marking the celebrations was to take place with the country’s President Peter Mutharika as Guest of Honour.

“Many People who were in the front fell to the ground as they struggled to get in and got stamped upon,” explained an eyewitness, who further disclosed that the fracas forced the Security team at the scene to pop a teargas canister of in efforts to disperse the crowd.

As the scene calmed down, desperate mothers from around the areas in the vicinity of the stadium panicked as they feared for their children’s lives. Some rushed to Kamuzu Central Hospital, the country’s major referral hospital in the central region, where the casualties had been rushed in.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Malawi president send condolence over deadly stadium stampede

LILONGWE Malawi (Xinhua) -- Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika on Thursday expressed grief over the stampede at Bingu National Stadium in the country’s capital Lilongwe that killed eight people and injured at least 62.

In his condolence statement, Mutharika said the Malawi government would assist in meeting funeral expenses of the deceased eight, seven of whom are children between 7 and 15.

“I want to offer my condolence to the families affected by the tragedy and death of our brothers and sisters at the stadium this morning,” he said.

The country’s police are yet to issue an official statement on what really caused the stampede.

Eyewitnesses said the stampede happened as a crowd struggled to squeeze through a gate into the stadium, where the main event marking the celebrations was to take place with the country’s President Peter Mutharika as guest of honor.

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Malawi teachers’ national strike angers learners

LILONGWE Malawi (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of pupils and students from primary and secondary schools in some parts of Malawi took to the streets in protest to the ongoing national strike by teachers over leave grant arrears.

The teachers through the Teachers’ Union of Malawi (TUM) successfully have embarked on a stay-in since June 5, whereby the teachers went to work places but stayed in without working.

On Monday, in Malawi’s Commercial City of Blantyre and in Balaka district in the south, primary school pupils and secondary school students mobilized themselves for demonstrations over the strike which has entered a second week.

Social media pictures of the protesting learners show burning motor vehicle tyres blocking the road while in some instances the protestors blocked the roads with rocks and logs.

Elsewhere in Balaka along the country’s backbone road, M1, local media reported scores of pupils and parents having blocked the road in protest to the same.

The Malawi government is yet to respond to the teachers’ national strike.

The teacher’s strike came a few weeks before the Malawi School Certificate Exams which sees learners graduate from secondary school to college and university education.

Many fear the ongoing teachers’ industrial action may jeopardize the national exams which are scheduled to commence on June 22. 

           

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